Is it worth buying a PS4 in 2021? Sony’s old flagship console was replaced at the end of 2020 by the new PlayStation 5, but the company stressed that the PlayStation 4 will remain a central element of its plan to move forward. This means it is committed to providing continuous software support, firmware updates, etc. But with the PS5 offering full backward compatibility and a relatively affordable price, should you consider buying a PS4 in 2021? In this PS4 Guide , we will review all aspects of the latest generation console, from its hardware and services to the availability of its software, and determine if it is worth buying one this year.
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PS4: What does the gaming experience look like in 2021?
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PS4 is one of the most success never created, and for good reason: its software library is huge and full of high-quality experiences. Despite the release of the PS5 in November 2020, the PS4 still feels relevant in 2021 — extraordinarily. Many next-generation titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War are also playable on the PS4, and although they obviously don’t look like or do not work at the same level as on the next-generation system, they’re basically the same games.
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In fact, the best games of 2020 have been both designed and developed for the PS4: The Last of Us: The presentation of Part II, in many areas, far exceeds what you will find on a PS5 right now, testifying to the maturity of the development tools and the talent of the team involved. This will not remain eternal, of course, but for the moment, The PS4 is still a high-performance machine, and with the upcoming PlayStation exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West, which is still expected to release on the system, it is unlikely that this will change in 2021.
It could also be argued that PS4, in the final stages of its lifecycle, is more complete than its contemporary. While PS5 brings new ideas, such as game help and activities, it also lacks basic features; folders, for example, allow a much better organization on the latest generation console. There is no doubt that the system software will eventually be refined on the PS5, but at this early stage of the new generation, the PS4 benefits from several years of iteration.
Since the PS4 is still being manufactured and sold, all of its key features are always very well supported. In fact, Sony has completely integrated the console into its ecosystem, which means you can create parties with PS5 players and vice versa. Most importantly, many games are cross-platform, which means you can play multiplayer titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on a PS4 with friends on a PS5. And some titles even offer free upgrades from PS4 to PS5 , which means your software investments will pass with you if you decide to upgrade.
Despite the release of the PS5, it is important to keep in mind that the popularity of PS4 means that most games will continue to be developed and designed with the latest generation console in mind. This means you can expect popular multiformat properties such as Call of Duty, FIFA, and Assassin’s Creed continue to publish on the system in the foreseeable future. Even PlayStation exclusives, such as Horizon Forbidden West, will also be available on PS4. In most cases, free upgrades from PS4 to PS5 are available with these titles, so you can take your software with you and enjoy it later.
Of course, PS4 games typically work at lower resolution and frame rate than their PS5 versions. In titles like Watch Dogs Legion, for example, the ray throwing is removed; Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales can run up to 60 frames per second on PS5, while it is 30 frames per second on PS4. Charging times are also much slower, and unless you play on a PS4 Pro, you will be limited to 1080p, but these differences in title apart, gameplay and the story is the same, so you do not actively miss anything.
The PS4 library is absolutely gigantic, and if you’ve never owned it before, there’s a wealth embarrassment for you to experience scaling from two smaller independent titles to gigantic blockbusters. Because the PS5 is also backward compatible, you can also expect a long tail of continuous software support over the next few years; EA, for example, recently announced that its Mass Effect Legendary Collection remaster was being developed for PS4, while we suspect many small developers Japanese to focus on the format for a few more years.
There are many years of life in the PS4, so its PS Store remains online and fully functional. In fact, there is a argument to argue that at the time of entry, the PS4 display case is higher than that of the next generation; although it is a little slower to access, it has more tabs and sorting options, allowing you to find the type of content you are looking for with greater ease.
Downloads may be slower on the PS4, due to older Wi-Fi technology and slower hard drive write speeds, but everything still works as expected and the experience still seems fast and smooth in 2021 despite the age of hardware. While the PS3 was limping towards the end of its lifetime, the experience slowed dramatically due to Sony’s ambition exceeding hardware, but this isn’t really the case with the PS4.
It should also be noted that services like PS Plus and PS now remain available on PS4; in fact, subscribers will continue to receive two PS4 games each month in the foreseeable future, which is a good reason to keep your subscription. You will be able to play these games on your PS5 if you decide to upgrade, as they will remain in your library and will be available via backward compatibility.
As mentioned above, despite ongoing improvements, the PS4 user interface remains fully functional in 2020 without real compromise. Although loading and installing games are not as fast as on the PS5, it’s not left out and perfectly functional in 2021. It is also fully integrated into the next-generation console: you can see which friends are playing, sending messages and organizing parties.
In fact, the PS4 user interface has some key advantages by Report to PS5: Folders allow better organization, themes allow you to customize your console and there is a web browser that you can use to access reviews and guides while playing. Over time, we expect these features to be added to the next generation console as well, but these are the benefits of enjoying an end-of-life device, where the experience has been repeated over a period of several years.
PS4: How much should you pay in 2021?
The only disappointment of the PS4 in 2021 is that, at the time of writing this article, Sony did not really adjust the price of the device. This means that officially you are still looking for a price of around £259.99/ $299.99 for a brand new unit. Many retailers will offer bundles of these software These days, and hard disk space may vary — you’ll obviously want to opt for the most affordable option with the largest available storage space.
PS4 Pro consoles will cost you more — we’ll detail the differences below — but these are scarce as Sony reduces the number of units it manufactures; the supercharged system has already been abandoned in Japan, for example. You might be better off using the used route if this is the model you want.
If you’re shopping on an auction site like eBay, you should generally look to pay between £150 and £250 in the UK and between $200 and $300 in the US for a standard PS4, depending on the condition of the device and all bundled extras. PS4 Pro consoles cost a little more, and it is worth remembering that there are special edition models that can offer prices high, such as the 20th Anniversary Edition which costs up to $2000.
The good news is that with an included hard drive, you don’t need to have expensive memory cards. Most importantly, software can be purchased both new and used at advantageous prices, while the PS Store regularly hosts very reduced digital promotional events. Many of the best-selling games on PS4 are now available as part of PlayStation Online Achievement , and this means they can be purchased for less than £10 or $15 if you shop.
When it comes to software, the PS4 is arguably the most profitable console on the market. Obviously, the Xbox line has a subscription service called Game Pass that blurs the chat, but if you are looking to own your games, then the breadth of software available for the PS4, coupled with the prizes Generally low both physically and digitally, makes it a compelling option for budget-conscious players.
As mentioned above, there are two main PS4 models: the PS4 and the PS4 Pro. While the standard PS4 has been revised halfway through its lifecycle as PS4 Slim , there is no difference between these two units outside of their footprint and age. We recommend that you opt for a PS4 Slim if you plan to get a standard PS4, simply because it is more likely to be newer and therefore in better condition.
The PS4 Pro is an interesting proposal because it was designed as a premium alternative for consumers with 4K TVs. Many of his games run at a higher resolution than a standard PS4, although still less than a PS5. As such, given the price differences, we recommend that you opt for a PS5 if you want a 4K device at this point. And if you’re not interested in Ultra High Definition, you’d better stick to a standard PS4 and save your money.
Obviously, if you see an outstanding offer on a PS4 Pro, it is recommended to get it, because even those equipped with 1080p TVs will take advantage of the supercharged system. But at this point, with very little difference in price between the PS4 Pro and the PS5, you’d better revive for the PS4 — especially since it is fully backward compatible with the PS4 library.
PS4: Are there any games coming up?
In a word: yes. If you have never owned PS4 before, you will have access to a treasure of essential securities that will keep you busy for years, but there is also a large list of software to come on the horizon. This scales everything from smaller independent titles, cross-platform multiformat versions and even major exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West.
For a complete overview of everything that will come out, refer to our Release Dates of the new PS4 games in 2021 guide. Some highlights, however, include Persona 5 Strikers, NIer Replicant, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy. However, there will almost certainly be much more announcements in the coming year, as we expect successful brands like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed will continue to support the important PS4 installation base in the foreseeable future.
PS4: Is it worth buying 2021?
The PS4 may have been digitally replaced by the PS5, but at least in the next few years, you can expect Sony’s flagship salon consoles to stand side by side. As the PS4 enters its eighth year on the market, its gigantic installation base and huge software library make it a very relevant purchase in 2021 — and potentially beyond.
The system software is always fully functional, and it is a profitable console with titles at very low prices. Most importantly, buying now is not a problem, as the PS5 is fully backward compatible and many new games offer free upgrades from PS4 to PS5. This means that when you’re finally ready to upgrade, you’ll be able to take a lot of your software with you.
Cross-platform gaming in franchises Major such as Call of Duty means you won’t be isolated and you can even form parties with your friends, regardless of the console they play on. We will keep you away from the PS4 Pro at this point, because the PS5 is a much better option given the difference in price. But if you’re still playing on a 1080p TV and looking for a profitable gaming console in 2021, the PS4 is an outstanding option.